How’s this for an impossible task? Last night my girlfriend asked me to make her a Bob Dylan mix CD. I have exactly 100 Dylan songs in my iTunes library, and one can only fit about 73 minutes of music on a standard audio CD. Deciding which tracks to include has proven to be a monumental task. I finally chose the following seventeen, but it wasn’t easy.
- It Ain’t Me, Babe
It’s hard to argue against including this one. It’s such a sad song, but so beautiful.
- Positively 4th Street
The bitter side of Bob.
- Jet Pilot
It’s The Crying Game, in 49 seconds of verse.
- I Want You
One of the best love songs ever written …
- Subterranean Homesick Blues
First and foremost, the man is a poet. You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
- Tombstone Blues
This is the closest Bob comes to punk rock, and it includes my all-time favorite line in any song, ever: “The sun’s not yellow, it’s chicken.”
- It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry
Quite likely the best blues song ever recorded.
- Highway 61 Revisited
God layeth down the smack.
- Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?
In other words, I really, really want to have sex with you.
- Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again
These days there just aren’t any storytellers in modern music. This is such a great story.
- Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
Girls. Can’t live without ’em; can’t get ’em to stop buying ridiculous fashion.
- Just Like a Woman
Another excellent love song … She breaks just like a little girl.
- Temporary Like Achilles
Love hurts sometimes, no?
- Tangled Up in Blue
Here’s another good story. It’s a five-act play in five minutes.
- From a Buick 6
She walks like Bo Diddley and she don’t need no crutch. Now, who writes lyrics like that any more?
- Ballad of a Thin Man
This is what you get when you give a genius poet a lot of drugs, a guitar, and the freedom to say whatever he wants. Do you dig it, Mr. Jones?
- Shelter From The Storm
This is the only track that she specifically requested. It’s in Jerry Maguire, one of our favorite movies, and I think it’s his best love song.
What do you think? Are there any you think I missed? Are there any you think are more deserving to be on a Dylan Top Ten list?
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